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Corky Carroll maps Lost International success


Corky Carroll Blog

...Lost Surfboards #1 in popularity according to the 2012 SIMA Retailer Study

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 February, 2013 : - - Lost International is an Orange County surfing company. It was started by local surfboard shaper and artist Matt Biolos back in the 1980's and has grown into one of the most successful brands in the surfing industry today. To understand the growth of a true grassroots, what we call "core," surfing company you need to take a look at its time line, courtesy of Lost International.

1985 15-year-old Matt Biolos and high school friends scribbled "team ...Lost" on notebooks and everything else they own including their clothing. Matt and his high school friends were so into skateboards, snowboarding and surfing that they didn't care that their school's teams wanted to win win win ... they instead were "team ...Lost."

1987 Biolos begins shaping surfboards at San Clemente's Herbie Fletcher Surf Shop and does artwork for the local surfers on their boards. He calls his boards Mayhem – thus his nickname "Mayhem".

1989 Biolos makes T-shirts of his artwork branded with ...Lost for sale to his friends in San Clemente.

1991 First set of ...Lost tees for surf shop consumption is drawn up by Biolos.

1993 First trunks designed by Biolos, produced by Mike Reola.

1993 ...Lost's first team rider is teenage skateboarder (and current marketing manager) Chad Shetler

1995 ...Lost signs its first professional surfer – 14-year-old Chris Ward.

1995 "What's Really Goin On" is ...Lost's first surfing movie, followed the next year by "What's Really Goin Wrong," starring Chris Ward and Cory Lopez.

1996 The ...Lost label is put onto Mayhem's surfboard shapes.

1996 Lawrence Quiqley joins the company as head (and sole employee) of design and production.

1997 ...Lost's Surf Video "5'5x 19 1/4" helps spark the "fish" surfboard revolution.

1998 ...Lost distribution grows to 300 stores around the country with sales of $2.5 million in clothing and $2 million in surfboards.

1999 Joel Cooper joins the company and proceeds to aggressively build international distribution and licensing as well as launch ...Lost into the Juniors market.

2000 ...Lost signs an apparel licensing deal for the USA with La Jolla Group headed up by industry vet John Warner.

2006 ...Lost signs Mason Ho and his legendary father Michael Ho to a long-term endorsement deal.

2009 "5'5 Redux" chronicles the last decade in alternative board design and captures Cory Lopez surfing quite possibly the best left-handed waves ever captured on video.

2010 ...Lost wins SIMA's Men's Marketing Campaign of the Year

2011 Launch of the ...Lost Surf Skate – a cruiser skateboard line inspired by the surfboards.

2011 ...Lost and the La Jolla Group end their licensing agreement. Owners Matt, Mike and Joel take the clothing in-house.

2011 ...Lost Surfboards is #1 in popularity, according to the 2012 SIMA Retailer Study.

2012 The first line produced by ...Lost International hits the streets. Launch of LostTV – picking up where the ...Lost surf video left off.
Relaunch of ...Lost for Her, young contemporary women's collection.

As of right now the surfboard brand lays claim to being the second largest surfboard company in the world. Not bad for a kid from San Clemente drawing on his notebooks not all that long ago. I remember drawing on my notebook in high school, but it was chicks in various degrees of undress that got me into hot water with the vice principal when my English teacher, Miss Brickner happened to catch me.

I might have been drawing her actually. See, if I would have drawn a good idea for a surf brand it all might have turned out differently, oh well.

So today Matt, Mike and Joel are pulling into the surf market super tube and it will be interesting to see where they take this over the next few years. It is always great to see a local company doing well especially if it developed from a local surfer. I have always been a strong supporter of surf companies that are run by surfers and not some corporate bean-counting nerds who would not know a floater from a fly away.

"There is no substitute for 'passion of ownership,'" said CEO Joel. "We have our brand back and can control our destiny. We have vision passion and drive. The challenge is to be ourselves, to be different. That is our goal."

Source: Corky's Blog

Author: Corky Carroll

Tags: Surf Culture, Corky Carroll, Lost, Industry

Corky's Blog - Surfersvillage


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